This Time I Chose It!

Eight years! That’s when my on and off relationship with fitness began. I can’t really remember why, or how it started, but I remember running up and down the stairs in one of the stairwells at my high school on the mornings that I didn’t have band practice.

It didn’t last long, though. I developed patellofemoral syndrome and didn’t want anything to do with going up and down the stairs. I ended up taking medication for the pain in my knees and suffered through it when I had to use the stairs for anything.

At some point over the years, I learned that strengthening the muscles around the knee helps with the pain, so I got into the gym and onto the leg curl machine. I wanted my muscles to be stronger, I wanted the pain gone. But I winced and cringed when I felt and heard the grinding in my knees. Guess what, I gave up, again!

I got back in the gym in my first year of College (I only went for a year and a half). I made a lot of progress and didn’t dare fall off the wagon again. Not that my gym buddies would have let me.

But then I left the school and the motivation for the gym along with it. Many times after that, my then fiance would try to get me to go to the gym with him. He was trying to get in better shape too! But still, my drive wasn’t there. There were too many excuses.

After we were married we got a gym membership that we barely used. Then we tried getting into shape with programs that we could do from home. They were fun at first, but then the excuses came back. Days got skipped and eventually, we lost motivation altogether.

Every time we got into exercise, I would only get into it because my husband managed to wear me down and talk me into it.

20170207_101933_hdr-01.jpegBut this time, four years into our marriage, he didn’t have to talk me into it. I was sick of myself and desperate for change. I happily followed my husband to the brand new Goodlife down the street and got myself yet another membership. I made it my goal to go to the gym at least three times a week.

Seventeen days ago my husband started a 12-week program called Transformed by Bodybuilding.com. I slept in the first day he went, but a couple days later, I told him to tell me more, I wanted in!

So here I am, three days into the third week and I’m loving it! While I’m still waiting to see the changes in the mirror, I am already feeling changes in my body.

I have fewer issues with my back at work than I used to and I have more energy throughout the day. My husband and I like to meet at the gym at eight in the morning, so my days are longer and fuller too!

I also have less trouble with the stairs. I can feel myself get better from the inside out and I love it!

On top of that, I am thoroughly enjoying learning to cook healthier. You know that saying; “You can’t have one without the other”? Well, that saying applies to fitness and nutrition. Believe it or not, I have struggled even more with nutrition than I have with exercise. Junk food is cheaper!

But, I can’t use money or lack thereof, as an excuse. You reap what you sow.

I believe that I can do anything I set my mind to, and right now, I have set my mind to taking care of the body God has given me. I want to set a good example for my future children. I want to strive for progress, not perfection!

If I set a goal each day and strive to achieve it, my long-term goal doesn’t seem so overwhelming and unattainable.

I can’t wait to see what changes the next nine and a half weeks bring me! I can’t wait to share my before and after photos! I am so happy that this time, I chose this!

Craving the Light

This Christmas I took a poinsettia home. My boss at work was gracious to allow me to take one of the plants she had on display at the restaurant. I was thrilled to have my first house plant that I could take care of and admire.

I did research on how often it was supposed to be watered and found out that it doesn’t like sitting in excess water. Proudly, I placed it on the center of the kitchen table.

In the following days and weeks, I watered her every two days, or three if the dirt was still moist. But something began to happen despite my attention and care. The leaves began to fall off. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I knew it was getting enough water because I saw that the plant had little sprouts coming out all over it.

More time passed and now my poinsettia is nearly bare of the beauty it had when I brought it home. Today as I watered it and cleared away more fallen leaves I understood what was happening. My kitchen has no windows. For the majority of the day, my poinsettia has been sitting in complete darkness.

16326241_10154107075120718_630827396_oIt craves the light, like a soul that yearns for the Light of the world, my plant was missing a key component that helps it grow. So after thinking a moment, I found it a new place to sit. In the laundry room. Here, there is natural light. Perhaps being exposed to the light, my poinsettia can finally flourish again.

I took some pictures so that I could look back and see the changes that the light will make. As I did so, I thought about how I too crave more light. I too have sat in darkness and let myself wither away to near desperation. I wonder, will the changes in me be visible with more exposure to the Light? I think so!

“The Lord is my light and my salvation”

~ Psalm 27:1

I’m Still Here

I look back on the past year and I am filled with a mix of feelings. There were things I wanted to do, people I wanted to see, and books I wanted to read.

2016 was the year that I decided I could be a professional photographer. I’ll be honest, it’s been months since I went for a good walk with my camera. It’s been longer since I attempted to get a client for my business. Frankly, I just felt there wasn’t any time.

I was in and out of the gym, wanting to get myself in better shape, but not wanting it enough to stay.

In the summer I discovered “Booktube”, a community of YouTubers who talk about their latest reads. It looked fun, so I decided to play too! I read more books in two weeks than I normally do in a month, and then I talked about them. But then November came and I haven’t read a book since.

When it came time for November’s National novel writing month; I knew exactly what I wanted to do. What I didn’t count on was the fact that I would overthink every memory and wonder if it was worth being included. I didn’t count on every distraction being a welcome one. Deep down I wondered if there was something I was missing; a piece of the puzzle to the memories and stories that make up my childhood.

For the most part, it sounds like I was my own biggest disappointment. But I would be lying if I didn’t also say that 2016 was a great year. While my husband struggled with his hours at work, and I continued working full time, the two of us became stronger. We had our fourth wedding anniversary, we don’t argue as much as we used to, and we’re trying to push each other to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

In spite of everything that I did or did not accomplish in the last year, I remain grateful to have my husband by my side. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for the two of us. Will 2017 be the year that I finally finish my should-be-a-movie book? I hope so! Will 2017 be the year that I push myself to get in better shape? I’m certainly going to give it a shot.

There are so many questions I have looking forward and answers that I don’t have. I just know that for now, while I am still here, I will enjoy the ones God has brought into my life. I will hold onto Him and know there is a plan in motion, even if I can’t see what it is.

I thank God that I am still here!

~Margaret

Simply Unmotivated

I’ve been in a bit of an apathetic kick recently. I started writing at the beginning of the month, but then after a couple days, I just wasn’t in it. In fact, I wasn’t really in anything. Dishes were getting piled up and I didn’t care. Laundry got washed but didn’t get put away, and I just didn’t care.

The days slipped by and my face wore a happy expression even if it didn’t want to. My days were a revolving door of work and not wanting to do anything. Even at work, it has been hard to put the bounce in my step.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a good job, a wonderful boss, and I enjoy the people I work with. But these past weeks, I just didn’t care for it. I have spent many days just “killing time” until it was time to get ready for work.

I didn’t realize until I was told my Thursday shift had been switched from the dinner shift at 4pm to the breakfast shift at 10am, that I was actually happy to get up for work in the morning. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, or ungrateful, but I really, really don’t enjoy working in the evenings.

Working this morning left me with the entire day after 4pm to do what needed to be done around the house. And, guess what? I actually enjoyed doing that too!

I really had not realized that working the evening shift every day was sucking the joy out of me. Am I the only person that feels this way?

Of course, I know there are people like my husband who have to work through the night, and I can’t imagine that being enjoyable. Maybe it’s a psychological thing. I’m not really sure.

All I know is that just one morning shift made my day so much brighter. Of course, I know I’m going to work whichever shifts my boss needs me too, but I’m already looking forward to the next breakfast shift.

🙂 Thanks for reading what was on my mind. Today I found my motivation again. Hopefully, I can hang onto it for a while.

Margaret.